Thursday 22 January 2015

Kua 'Aina Review - Heavenly Hawaiian Burgers

One of my friends recently stumbled across this small burger chain whilst wandering around Carnaby Street in London and annoyingly, he would not stop banging on about how it was the best burger he’s ever tried. 

Usually, when most people make claims such as these I can’t help but feel like I’m being lied to and so most of the time I dismiss their endorsement and go about my business, but as I said...


So obviously I had to go and try them out and politely tell him he was wrong…but oh, was I in for a shock!

We decided to visit their Goodge Street branch on a very rainy and freezing Sunday afternoon and as we entered we were met by a beautifully bright, kooky, small Hawaiian themed restaurant, which was thankfully warmer than the blizzard outside. We were then greeted instantly by the waiters who wore standard native Hawaiian attire (Hawaiian shirts) and we were promptly shown to our seat.

Taking a peek at the menu, everything looked and sounded delicious. There were new variations on old classics but all together there was definitely an ‘American’ vibe to the menu. Don’t get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing for me; pass me the streaky bacon, waffles and maple syrup anytime. 

I ordered my hamburger with avocado and Monterey jack cheese, but alas with no sides (this is a mistake to make, do NOT make the same mistake as me). My friend opted for a Bacon and Cheese Hamburger with skin on fries and unbeknown to him, I was going to steal me a few of those delicious fries.

Within, what felt like five minutes, our food had arrived and my, oh, my, it smelt heavenly. 

Now, for you non burger connoisseurs out there, who think a burger is just a burger, think again. You know when you have been greeted by a heavenly burger when you can instantaneously smell the quality of the meat. Think of it like a good steak, when you eye one of the beauties up, you know you're in for a treat.

So here I was, face to face with a perfectly medium-rare burger, with a perfectly ripe avocado perched on top, along with deliciously mature Monterey jack cheese oozing off the sides, I couldn’t wait to try it.

The Patty

The burger was cooked to perfection; slightly pink (my favorite) and seasoned so flawlessly that I was almost tempted to ask them what type of sorcery they used. The meat was deliciously
 light, fresh and delightful, not stodgy like a lot of burgers.

The Fillings

One hugggggggggggggggggggggge no no for all avocado lovers out there is evilness of an unripe avocado. 

Granted they have a similar taste to ripened ones but my goodness, you try cutting into that slippery sucker and you realize that it’s as hard as nails, the disappointment you feel is unfathomableut, but this did not occur at Kua 'Aina., oh no.

The avocado was perfectly ripe and was a true match for the soft and succulent meat it was nestled upon. And what is this stuff they’ve sprinkled across my avocado? Is it crack? Because it might as well be! It was so delicious! It does have a bit of a kick right at the end but only slightly but it's definitely it's worth a try. They even say on their website they won’t tell anyone what’s in this special salt, so I must not be the only one who's intrigued.

The Bun - 

You know when you’re in the presence of burger royalty when the restaurant actually takes pride in the bun. Usually for me, the bun on most burgers can be tossed away (they take up wayyy too much valuable tummy space) but this bun was light, slightly sweet, being a semi-brioche bun and covered in wonderfully delicious poppy seeds (I think they're poppy seeds?!) and sesame seeds, which truly added another dimension to this burger.

Those gosh darn fries

Do not make my mistake.

Order those fries.
Order them now and order them quick! 
Do not share. 
Sharing is also another mistake. 
Hide them from friends.
Hide them from family.
Eat them quietly under the table or around a corner and fully enjoy these frightfully, fantastic fries. 

They're so beautifully crunchy and soft on the side it was a right old treat, they also have some sort of delectable seasoning on top…god knows what it is, probably that crack again.

For the record I should mention that I don’t like chips. (I’m sorry, don’t hurt me but if I’m singing about these so much, they have to be good, right?)

For our entire stay there, I cannot fault a single thing wrong with Kua 'Aina, the waiters were impeccable and friendly, inviting and funny, our orders were taken quickly and arrived back within a heartbeat and the atmosphere was warm and cute. Usually, I find ‘themed’ restaurants spend so much time and attention on the décor or ‘feel’ of the place that the food comes second. But oh no, not at Kua 'Aina; the food is fantastic and the décor is wonderful, it’s truly worth a visit, so go on, get down there!

For the record, all these opinions are my own. I paid for my meal and was not asked to write this review for any sort of payment, but hey Kua 'Aina, if you want to give me a free burger or whatever. feel free.


Friday 16 January 2015

Happy Blogging Anniversary

I honestly cannot believe it’s already been a whole year since I started this blog and I also cannot believe that I've actually stuck to it, who would have thought?

So I started my blog this very day last year, as some sort of online diary to track the progress of my new year’s resolutions and from there, this thing has just grown into another extension of me, filled with memories, rants, reviews and good times. And even though I haven't got hundreds of millions of subscribers (or even 10) I still can't believe people actually read this tiny crappy bit of the internet, so, yeah, thanks.

After doing this whole blogging thing for an entire year, I wanted to jot down a few things I've noticed about the whole blogging world; I hope you can relate...Enjoy!

1. Finding your style of writing is really, bloody hard; I'm still not even completely satisfied with how I write things now. 


2. We all make spelling/grammar mistakes...don't worry.

3. You have ALL these big ideas for future blog posts but then you realize there’s something much more important you need to do…

4. Trying to get involved with current topics is really tough and you have to be quick off the mark, because before you know it, everyone else has made the point that you wanted to make and it’s all too late...

5. Having an opinion that doesn't fit the ‘norm’ or what most other bloggers think/say is still kind of frowned upon...

6. But doing what you want and not following the pack makes this whole thing so much more enjoyable.

7. There is A LOT of bitchiness and backstabbing out there between some bloggers, just stay well clear...

8. But there are also so many genuinely lovely, odd and funny people out there, looking to reach out to chat and not just gain another view or subscriber...

9. As a blogger, selfies are so ridiculously important...

10. But let's face it, finding an amazing GIF is like finding the Holy Grail...

11. Trying to put your personality across in your blog is really hard...

12. But, please note, I'm a nutter and if I meet people in the real world who blog as well, be warned, you will receive this reaction...

13. Having any reviews, posts or photos you've created being used by a big company makes you react like this…


I've written three blogs this week, which has to be some sort of miracle soooooooooooo...I'm going to buy myself something pretty...oh wait, actually...

I just want to thank everyone who takes the time to read or browse through my blog, I really, truly appreciate it. Have a bloody lovely weekend and just think, it's only 9 weeks until Spring. Wut wut.


Wednesday 14 January 2015

Resolutions (Kick up the arse) 2015 Edition

‘Why wait until the new year to make a change?’

Realistically, you can make a change in your life whenever you feel like, there isn't really a need to wait until a certain date to do it. However, for me, I guess there’s something quite therapeutic and fulfilling looking back at my last year’s achievements and adventures along with my completed and outstanding resolutions.

Life can become so repetitive and dull sometimes; days and weeks suddenly start merging into one, big, long muddle of memories, work, chores and forgotten aspirations, it's easy to get bogged down with life and find that another year has passed by and you really have nothing to show for it. 

With my resolutions, instead of doing self improvements, which I'm always trying to do (cos' let's face it, there's a lot that needs improving) I instead set aside adventures and dreams I’d like to do throughout the year and to make them easy to manage and actually achieve, I organise them from month to month. 

For instance, I really want to go surfing and it just so happens my friends are getting married in Cornwall in June, so for June, I want to ensure I go surfing. Another example would be I want to eat clean for an entire month or not to have any takeaways. 

Hopefully you can see the pattern, I just want to ensure that I’ve tried my hand at as many things I can, try and be healthy as possible, all the while doing things I usually just forget about.

(It’s basically just me kicking myself up the arse and getting myself into gear, which I think we all need sometimes).

So here it is, my 'kick up the arse' for the entire year:

J a n u a r y

Meet new people at the London Blogger Meet up (I'm ill, so I won't do much this month!)

F e b r u a r y

Go to the gym at least 4 times
Eat clean for an entire month
Book a holiday! (Hopefully to America. Fingers crossed)

M a r c h

Buy a new wardrobe (Heck knows I need one)
Go to the gym at least 4 times
No takeaways for the entire month

A p r i l

Try at least ten new types of food
Visit Bath
Book another holiday! (I need to decide where to!)
Go to the gym at least 4 times

M a y

Go to the Lake District
Either do a fun run or run for 7 miles in one go
Pass my driving test (Lawd' please let this happen)
Go to the gym at least 4 times

J u n e

Go surfing 
No takeaways for the entire month
Go swimming twice this month
Spend more time outdoors – do at least five activities outdoors, throughout the month

J u l y

Go swimming twice this month
Buy myself a new camera
Make a video/vlog about the entire month with new camera
Do something different for your birthday!
Try a yoga class
Spend more time outdoors – do at least five activities outdoors, throughout the month

A u g u s t

Cook 7 meals this month from a cookbook! (I can cook, I just never follow recipes!)
Visit Holkham Hall (and the beach!)
Go swimming twice this month
Spend more time outdoors – do at least five activities outdoors, throughout the month

S e p t e m b e r

Buy Christmas presents this month!!! Get it done early!
Go horse riding

N o v e m b e r

No takeaways for the entire month

D e c e m b e r 

Do not buy yourself anything this month! (cry)

I'll probably make some amends to this list and I'll probably miss a few out, but I'm going to try my hardest to make this year filled with adventures and wonderful memories.

Have you made any resolutions this year? Do you even think there worthwhile? Can you think of any adventures I can embark on? Let me know in the comments below.


Monday 12 January 2015

A late goodbye to 2014

I know, I know, 

I’m so unbelievably late to this post but I've honestly been one ill lil lady recently I couldn't even face writing about diddly squat.

Anyway, I wanted to take a look back on 2014 and all the wonders and delights it had to offer me. 2014 was so far the best year I’ve ever had and I know it was because of few simple lifestyle choices I made.

I attempted to:

  • Be more positive
  • Try new things
  • Stick to my goals

Now I know these all seem like really pretentious and annoying things to suggest but they have really made a huge difference in my life. I hated watching time fly by where nothing was happening and feeling as if another year was slipping away, so it was nice to actually set goals (or resolutions) describing what I wanted to do or achieve throughout the year.

Though I didn't necessarily achieve all my goals, I definitely feel I've achieved far more in the last year than I have ever before.

So once I'm feeling top notch again and feel I can get my head around the fact that it's 2015 already, I really want to set another few resolutions I'd like to achieve throughout the year and you never know, I may actually complete them all this time round.

So anyway, here's me giving a massive send off to the wonderful and exciting year that was 2014.

My top picks of 2014:

Going to the bloody Brit awards and getting treated like a right ol’celeb

(A full blog on all the delightful happenings right here)

Heading to the Isle of Wight festival with my sister Emma and having a really chilled and wonderful time in the glorious sunshine (I may have got badly sun burnt)

(Another cheeky little blog about it here)

Visiting and staying in sunny Liverpool for the first time ever and realizing what an incredible city it is

(Two blogs about this little trip! A hotel review here and a normal blog here)

Enjoying an all-inclusive free stay at Champneys Tring with my mam and getting my first ever massage! <3

(And of course, a little cheeky blog about this adventure can be found here)

And of course, blogging for an entire year!

My firsts in 2014:

Trying sushi for the first time (amongst the dozens of other foods I decided to try for the first time this year)

Travelling to Liverpool for the first time

Going to Berlin for the first time

 Going to Rome with my family for the first time (a blog shortly to follow!)

Joining a gym for the first time ever!

Things I learnt in 2014:
  • It’s better to be positive than to be a stick in the mud
  • Saying 'Yes' to more opportunities is always a good thing. Always.
  • Not being so judgmental and mean about people makes you feel good inside, who’d have thought?
  • Realizing I’m a very lucky lady and I need to stay humble
  • Keeping to a gym routine takes A LOT of dedication and hardwork
  • Sushi actually tastes amazing - although raw salmon has the texture of Satan’s armpit

There will always be low and sad times during a year but I feel I faced all of my challenges head on, learnt from them and moved on from them as best I could.

There was one huge low during 2014 that sadly couldn't of been helped or foreseen. On the December 19th my little fatman, Fattie, sadly lost his very short fight to an aggressive form of cancer, and he was sadly sent off to kitty heaven. 

You only have to look at a few of my blogs to realise I'm mad cat lady and proud of it, so I did take this event quite badly.

It was actually probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to watch; Fattie decline so suddenly and within two weeks of the initial diagnosis, the poor wee little fella was gone. Even though a few weeks have passed I still well up at the thought of him not being around and it was a really somber end to the year. Sleep tight lil prince. =^.^=

So without ending on too much of a low (I have a knack for doing that) I am looking forward to what 2015 has to offer and all the adventures I'll get to take part it in. I've said a bitter sweet farewell to my lil man, but I still have his little brother to look after and dote on.

Even if he's a bit of a whiner.

Now to get those resolutions in place!
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